Be Trendy, Support Hate: On the symbolism of the Keffiya as a fashion accessory

In response to controversies like the Dunkin’ Donuts ad (see LGF and Michele Malkin vs. Daniel Goldblum) my daughter Hannah Landes produced this work for one of her classes in photoshop design:

be trendy

For those, like Daniel Goldblum, who blithely dismiss the significance of the keffiya, see the view of Muna Cubtee and note the remarks of Ahmad Habib:

The kaffiyeh is a visual extension of our struggle, a way to be a thorn in the silence,” says Ahmad Habib, Iraqi refugee and a member of the Arab Cultural Resistance music group. “Everywhere, from the Arab world to Toronto, people dress up to paint the world with conformity and indifference. The kaffiyeh stands in the way of that.”

The transition of the kaffiyeh from the Middle Eastern version of a baseball cap to a symbol of solidarity came with the occupation of Palestinian land. The kaffiyeh became a symbol of national identity for Palestinians. From the ’60s on, Palestine Liberation Organization officials and members, such Yasser Arafat, wore the kaffiyeh everywhere they went.

International coverage of the first intifada often showed pictures of Palestinian civilians throwing stones with kaffiyehs around their faces or necks. But afterward, the kaffiyeh was popular only amongst activists and Palestinian refugees.

During the second intifada [i.e., when suicide terror came in] in 2000, sympathy for Palestinians began to grow and the kaffiyeh became a way of displaying solidarity.

Ideally, I want everyone to wear the kaffiyeh,” says Habib, “but if it’s just worn for the aesthetic value, without the spirit of resistance wrapped up in every thread, then they might as well not wear it at all, and if it becomes appropriated by commercial interests, then that’s even worse.”

Note, I have nothing against symbols of a national liberation movement, and don’t object to the keffiya because it’s a symbol of Palestinian pride and resistance. I object because it’s a symbol of Palestinian stupidity (supporting Arafat as their “George Washington”) and Palestinian genocidal viciousness (celebrating terror attacks on civilians). The very fact that the keffiya became particularly popular in 2000 just as the Palestinians were disseminating blood libels and embracing suicide terror, illustrates what useful idiots they are who embrace this fashion trend knowingly.

A friend of mine once joked, “Our motto should be, Have you rebuked a Muslim today?” Certainly we should ask people wearing Keffiyas if they know what kind of movement it symbolizes.

36 Responses to Be Trendy, Support Hate: On the symbolism of the Keffiya as a fashion accessory

  1. oao says:

    I object because it’s a symbol of Palestinian stupidity (supporting Arafat as their “George Washington”) and Palestinian genocidal viciousness (celebrating terror attacks on civilians).

    If palestinians are stupid, how come they get zillions from the west and how come they’ll get their state which will ultimately eliminate israel?

    seems to me it’s the west and israel who are the stupids here.

  2. Eliyahu says:

    oao, the West is not stupid. The West is using the Arabs in general, the palestinian Arabs in particular, to continue the anti-Jewish struggle [kampf] of Herr Hitler. They want the Arabs to do their dirty work and finish Hitler’s work. Why else all these billions for the palestinian authority and Gaza??

    As to the kaffiyah, it is a common Arab headgear, not specifically palestinian Arab. Wearing it on the part of a Westerner is an expression of Judeophobia.

  3. oao says:

    eliyahu,

    i know your argument and there is, of course, truth to it. but that in itself reveals that the west is stupid. because in its hatred of jews it is committing suicide.

    american politicians have always been opportunists. the US has never won against highly committed, persistent and unappeasable, unbribable enemies.

    they are starting to realize that the US is in free fall due to self-destruction and they resort to their usual strategy that with the islamists leads to defeat: appeasement and bribery.

    so yes, it’s true they want to get rid of the jews, but there is a lot of fear and delusion in that too. and delusion IS stupidity.

    here’s what’s happening inside the US:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/025101.php

  4. oao says:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/025088.php

    see what I mean? enemies say FU, so what’s the US to do? isn’t it easier to throw israel to jihad? what else can it do? fight the jihadis externally and internally? let’s be serious.

  5. E.G. says:

    I’m with Pryce-Jones.

    It’s been ages (70′s) that European youth use the Keffiyeh as a scarf. I’m not sure the symbol is (still?) connoted with expressing solidarity with the planet’s richest refugees.

  6. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Are you sure this is the thread to post Eiland’s excellent article?

  7. Eliyahu says:

    oao, I will answer you and Lorenz. He asked how Judeophobia negatively impacts on non-Jews or non-Jewish society. Well, as the West becomes ever more hostile to Israel, led by the UK –I believe– it allows or encourages Islamists to subject their countries to jihad and Islamization. but this is deliberate. The Western political leaders, as a group, want to wreck Western culture. They themselves loathe civilization. Now it doesn’t seem reasonable for me to say that the UK is anti-civilization. What about shakespeare, keats, shelley, etc etc.?? But the political leaders have other purposes. How is it that the UK encourages Muslim jihad agitation, sedition by any other name and dangerous for the people living in the UK? One of the ways for winning acceptance for the pro-Islamic policy is by agitating against the Jews, against Israel. Hitler conquered France in 1940 by using Judeophobia, among other psywar means.

    btw, Hitler had many admirers among the artistic community in France. Jean Giono called him “a poet in action” or some such fulsome encomium. France was conquered by Judeophobia among other means.

  8. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    France was not conquered. She was defeated militarily and then capitulated. Much of its elite was Judeophobic, which probably contributed to the defeatist-collaborationist attitude.
    Still, most of France’s Jews were spared or saved, often by or with the active help the French population.

  9. oao says:

    Are you sure this is the thread to post Eiland’s excellent article?

    yes, because it demonstrates the stupidity of the west in insisting on a pal state RIGHT AWAY and the counterproductive consequences of so much jiziyya for statehood.

  10. oao says:

    The Western political leaders, as a group, want to wreck Western culture. They themselves loathe civilization. Now it doesn’t seem reasonable for me to say that the UK is anti-civilization.

    those on the far left, yes. but most of them are just scared shitless. they just delude themselves that if they make nice to their new overlords — which they are afraid to control — they will save themselves. they are also appeasing the arabs and iranians because they are bankrupt and have neither the capability nor the willingness to fight — america has covered their ass since after ww2 and they’ve become decadent and weak.

    as to britain, it’s one of the first to go because it’s already destroyed itself economically and socially. to understand the gutter into which britain has been thrown by its elites read theodore dalrymple. it’s scary. so islamization is easy–there is nothing to stay in their way.

    this does not negate the british antisemitism. they just think they can kill 2 rabbits with one shot.

  11. oao says:

    but let me ask you this: if they really want to wreck the western civilization, does it mean that they are NOT stupid??????????? and in exchange for what — sharia?
    oh, yeah, now that’s smart.

  12. Eliyahu says:

    There are various reasons for hating civilization. An elite may do so because it thinks that the more ignorant people are, the harder their daily lives, the more easily they can be manipulated and the less of a challenge or threat they represent to elite rule. Hitler had much sympathy in some elite circles in the UK, as you may know. Think of the Cliveden Set and Lady Astor and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. I heard on BBC a few years ago that the Duke [ex-king eddy viii] had sent a message to Germany advocating that the Germans bomb London and kill lots of civilians so as to produce a surrender. His younger brother, King George VI, sent a message circa 1939 on royal stationery to a high official, I think the secretary of Colonies or some such, asking that the Polish Jewish refugees not be allowed into “palestine.” [for a photo of George's message, see William Perl, Holocaust Conspiracy].

  13. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Interesting question : what is the reason of the evolution of the western elites against culture and civilization? I believe that it is due to a deep change in values. One of the old values was that one should act with long term effects in mind, and that history was relevant – in particular, the history (and culture) of the ancient Greeks and Romans. If one is interested only in short term effects, why care about reading difficult texts, learning about almost forgotten civilizations, and leaving the TV or computer screen for more creative activities?

    If ordinary investment gives 2 to 5% interest a year, why not get into hedge funds, which claim to give 12 to 15% interest a year?

    We know the result. We know about toxic funds. We know about hundred of billions and hundred of billions of monopoly money that was created through sheer lack of responsibility.

    We could almost sniff that the solution may (will ?) be generalized hyperinflation, which will turn back all the counters to zero.

    Back to old values – hopefully, and probably not. More likely, back to early middle ages barbarity, which will make us long for the books of the ancient Greeks and Romans. When elites are just rich or powerful people, with no cultural capital, with no manners or ideals, they are elites no more. They are regular Joes who happen to have tools in their hands, while they are not even able to use them skillfully.

  14. Cynic says:

    From the link to Eiland’s article:

    The second assumption is that if a Palestinian state is created, it will be ruled by “moderates.” There is no basis to this. It is likely that the regime in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank will fall within a short time into the hands of Hamas.
    which basically means into the hands of Iran.
    Egypt will go one way from internal strife and Jordan will be squashed between Syria from the north-east and a combined Hezbollah/Hamas from the west.

    And the US will suddenly find itself with no influence in the region having lost its allies (Israel is not kosher as an ally is it), unless of course the the seventh cavalry is sent to Saudi Arabia in an attempt in the battle of the Little Big Oil to salvage something.
    Then Russia and China enter stage left.
    Possible? Probable?

  15. oao says:

    There are various reasons for hating civilization. An elite may do so because it thinks that the more ignorant people are, the harder their daily lives, the more easily they can be manipulated and the less of a challenge or threat they represent to elite rule.

    absolutely. and there’s not any better example for this than UK. again, read theodore dalrymple and how the elite destroyed it. BUT:

    1. it is one thing to destroy society in a way YOU can control it and quite another to bring sharia that will control it as well as yourself.

    2. as to throwing israel to the wolves, here is a must watch video which must be disseminated:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saeky9I5T9c

    so by all means, let the world boycott. they’ll get what they deserve.

    as to elite behavior, the big mistake has been to assume that the historic trend is from non-democratic to democratic systems. just the opposite: once you have a level of democracy, elites acquire the instinct of power and get frustrated they can’t control. so they act to obtain control, some fast and furious, some by stealth. e.g. you’ve got russia and turkey as example of former, the US as example for 2nd.

    just look at history: rome, greece started as democracies. so did russia and germany.

  16. oao says:

    And the US will suddenly find itself with no influence in the region having lost its allies (Israel is not kosher as an ally is it), unless of course the the seventh cavalry is sent to Saudi Arabia in an attempt in the battle of the Little Big Oil to salvage something.

    Possible and quite likely. The problem is that the US has no clue about the world in general, let alone the ME, so it acts against its own interests.

    I am reading now a book about CIA failures — it’s depressing to see how both the CIA and the political elite are ignorant and clueless and always get it wrong. it’s scary.

    Then Russia and China enter stage left.

    dk about that. possible but not likely. china has monstruous internal problems which are bound to explode at some point. and russia is dying worse than europe.
    chances are that jihad will run them over. they can extend their verdict a bit because they’re ruthless, but time is against them.

  17. Rich Rostrom says:

    Michelle: The problem with Western elites is not that they “hate civilization. Western (especially British and American) culture has a tradition of valuing internal criticism. This has been of great value, historically. It has enabled the West to cleanse itself of various evils and overthrow obsolete and corrupted institutions and practices. But in the last century, this willingness to see the faults in our own society has mutated into an obsessive focus on its faults. Cultural disloyalty became a marker of moral superiority.

    A corollary of this is deference to “authentic” outsiders. People who sneer at “funnymentalist” Christians genuflect to Tibetan lamas, Indian “medicine men”, Sufis, gurus, and houngans. People who despise U.S. Marines as murderous brutes sport “Che” t-shirts. And so on.

    There is also the unconscious assumption of the West’s absolute physical supremacy. The elites are not capitulating to Islam. They do not even perceive jihad as a serious threat. And to be honest, there is good reason for this attitude. No Moslem country is a military threat to any industrialized country, not even all of them together. They can’t produce their own weapons beyond small arms; they can’t maintain the fancy weapons they buy; and they have no navies to speak of, i.e. no “force projection”.

    The many accomodations to Islamist demands are made to avoid conflict – as with a spoiled child – and to demonstrate that admirable non-loyalty to Western, Christian culture. There is also the attraction to Arab oil wealth. But money does not control; and so far, the Arab states with the most money have used it to buy influence, but not to coerce obedience.

    No one even seriously imagines that Arab force is going to do any real harm to Israel. Israel’s military superiority is obvious and overwhelming. Economic aid to Palestinians is driven by misguided humanitarianism, and the delusion (a case of “cognitive egocentrism”) that if the material problems of Gazans and West Bankers were solved, that would end the threat to Israel.

  18. oao says:

    The elites are not capitulating to Islam.

    sometimes they are and sometimes they aren’t. i suggest you read jihad watch for a few days and monitor what’s happening in europe. it is impossible to interpret some of the behavior as anything other than fear. in one of the skandinavian countries the govt explicitly declared that they must make nice to the new overlords, such that they’ll be nice when they take over. and how else to interpret lord ahmed’s success?

    They do not even perceive jihad as a serious threat. And to be honest, there is good reason for this attitude.

    some don’t. but it’s precisely why the stealth jihad is so effective. the point is that the fact that some fail to see it as a threat is what makes it a very serious one.

    No Moslem country is a military threat to any industrialized country, not even all of them together. They can’t produce their own weapons beyond small arms; they can’t maintain the fancy weapons they buy; and they have no navies to speak of, i.e. no “force projection”.

    1st, the threat is not from muslim states, but rather from failed states, at lease one, soon two with nukes, which either support jihadis or serve as safe havens for them to launch from, possibly even supplying them with WMDs. hamas and hezbollah are not easy to control and they have worldwide tentacles.)

    2nd, the undermining from within threat is much more dangerous, part. since the west is decadent and bankrupt. we saw how the brits handled iran’s capturing the marines, what do you think will happen when iran has nukes?

    here’s a piece i came across which makes the point:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/025114.php

    and so far, the Arab states with the most money have used it to buy influence, but not to coerce obedience.

    when it comes to a collapsing, decadent, bankrupt and scared west, that’s a good starting move.

    No one even seriously imagines that Arab force is going to do any real harm to Israel. Israel’s military superiority is obvious and overwhelming.</i.

    that is flat wrong. 1st, because the arabs have not ever coordinated attacks, and attrition and demographics wars are not in israel’s favor. serious missiles on several fronts may force israel to destroy entire areas, and i dk if it can survive that. moreover, the most dangerous threat is the west and ability to withhold support from israel, stopping it from defending itself, while pumping the pals.

    neither controlling and the wb, nor keeping them are options. here’s somebody who makes the point:

    http://www.nationalinterest.org/Article.aspx?id=20960

    also, israel has a serious leadership crisis and no future generation worthy of the tasks. america has started its fall and between the EU, its elite and the islamic 5th column europe is antisemitic and also hostile.

  19. oao says:

    Correction: i said “because the arabs have not ever coordinated attacks, and attrition and demographics wars are not in israel’s favor.”

    i meant “EFFECTIVELY coordinated”. there were, of course, coordinations, but not with missiles. when egypt and syria coordinated in 1973, it was close. now if syria, hezbollah, hamas with iranian direct help coordinate with missiles, it’s a tossup. if they force israel to consider nukes, it’ll be a toughie and hard to say that it’ll end well.

  20. oao says:

    Here’s one of the best pieces I read on the west and islam:

    http://www.azure.org.il/article.php?id=485

    Another excellent author to read on israel’s predicament is Daniel Gordis — there are various articles and vudeos by him on the net and he wrote several books.

    he has recently wrote a book called SAVING ISRAEL which many recommend as must read for every jew as well as goy. i have been unable to get it from a library yet, it’s too new.

    hey, rich. check them out and see if they don’t change your mind about the prospects of israel and the west.

  21. oao says:

    btw, rich, jihadis make very good use of western technology and resources:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/025127.php

  22. oao says:

    here’s creeping sharia and dhimmitude at its best:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/025125.php

  23. oao says:

    christianity, the source of west’s morals:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/025119.php

  24. oao says:

    Chamberlain to invite Nazi Germany to conference on Czechoslovakia

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/025122.php

    well, same thing.

  25. Eliyahu says:

    Rich, you point to a real problem, that is, the false notion that economic betterment will quench the hates and aggression typical of Islam. You are aware that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9-11 were Saudis and were well off, as was the Egyptian Muhammad Atta. You put it well:
    Economic aid to Palestinians is driven by misguided humanitarianism, and the delusion (a case of “cognitive egocentrism”) that if the material problems of Gazans and West Bankers were solved, that would end the threat to Israel.

    However, do those who make the argument, such as Tony Blair, ex-UK pm, really believe in what they say? Or is the argument simply a way of undermining Israel, since Blair is now active as the “Quartet’s” point man in pressuring Israel? Maybe those who make the argument are just being disingenuous, like Blair. Blair has gone so far as to also say that the conflict with Israel is the heart of all or almost all world conflicts!! [what about the Muslim jihad in Thailand? Or Kashmir?] Now one argument seems to contradict the other; that is, is it poverty that causes the conflict with Israel or is it Israel’s presence that causes all the other conflicts? Can Blair have it both ways? Is he any more than a phoney, which is what the British have longed called him?

  26. Rich Rostrom says:

    oao: Neither Pakistan nor Iran is a “failed state”. Pakistan has lost control of a part of its territory, but there is no threat at this time to the government’s control of the rest of the country, including all the major cities.

    Iran’s civil order is at least as solid – if the present Iranian regime falls, it will be through political revolution, not regional rebellion. Also, it would be impossible for Iran to muster the resources for nuclear weapons production without firm control by the state. (That seems to be the threat you fear most.)

    But even if Iran developed nuclear weapons, or Pakistani weapons fell into the hands of jihadists, that would not enable Islam to conquer the West. They could cause horrible destruction, but nothing more.

    Is Iran, even nuclear-armed Iran, going to dictate terms to Britain – much less impose Islamic practices on British society? If that happens, it will be the result of long and deep demographic changes, not external force. And while there is evidence that such changes may have begun, these trends would have to progress unabated for several decades to produce that result.

    And if jihadists actually used a nuclear weapon – the reaction would be their immediate destruction, with the assistance of most Moslem governments. (The elites in these countries enjoy their power and luxuries – they don’t want the gravy train disturbed.)

    This is not to say that jihadists with nuclear bombs might not lethally damage Israel. But even that threat is still well into the future.

    The fashionable intellectuals in Oxbridge, the Ivy League, the foreign-policy “think tanks”, the cafés of Paris, the anarchist “squats” – none of them have the slightest fear that Islam will be imposed on them. And I don’t see how it could be.

  27. [...] is worth revisiting (and fisking) now as we reach the closing years of the aughts, and like the keffiya, the “One-state solution” is becoming increasingly fashionable on the [...]

  28. oao says:

    But even if Iran developed nuclear weapons, or Pakistani weapons fell into the hands of jihadists, that would not enable Islam to conquer the West. They could cause horrible destruction, but nothing more.

    oh, thank you, i am really reassured now.

    i am much more concerned with the soft jihad and the 5th column than with military takeover, nuclear or not, part. since the west is helping it. the problem with the nukes is not that the iran will use it, but what they can achieve with the cowardly west by just HAVING it. but if the jihadis (AQ/Taliban) get their hands on it, there will be nothing left to take over.

    If that happens, it will be the result of long and deep demographic changes, not external force.

    precisely.

    And if jihadists actually used a nuclear weapon – the reaction would be their immediate destruction, with the assistance of most Moslem governments.

    maybe (I am not so sure) but do you think they are deterrable?

    But even that threat is still well into the future.

    dk how well into it, but what i do know is that the world is being prepared to be indifferent when that happens.

    The fashionable intellectuals in Oxbridge, the Ivy League, the foreign-policy “think tanks”, the cafés of Paris, the anarchist “squats” – none of them have the slightest fear that Islam will be imposed on them. And I don’t see how it could be.

    which is precisely why current policies are what they and they facilitate that very thing — via creeping sharia and self-dhimmitude.

  29. RfaelMoshe says:

    To the Palestinians, Western women wearing a kefiyah symbolizes the need to cover her hair, and thus submission, knowingly or not to Islam. Its an acknowledgment of their dhimmi status. To me, its a fabric swastika.

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